Legal aid lawyers paid less than sewage workers

19 NOV 2009

Solicitors are angry at new research that shows that practitioners who provide legal aid services are among the worst paid in the public sector according to a new survey.

The average salary of a legal aid solicitor is £25,000, less than a prison officer or sewage plant worker. It is also below police officers, nurses and secondary school teachers according to figures compiled by the Guardian newspaper.

The Law Society has expressed grave concern over the Ministry of Justice consultation paper, Legal Aid Funding Reforms, which proposes to further cut fees for legal aid.

Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said: "There is no scope left for cutting fees. These figures show that solicitors undertaking legal aid earn well below the average for professional salaries, and considering solicitors can amass significant student debts and work very long hours, the pay is very far from fat cat territory.

"Solicitors undertaking legal aid work show commitment to providing access to justice for those that need it most, and many more offer up a great deal of their time working for free with pro bono work for those who are ineligible for legal aid."

The Law Society has warned that firms will no longer be able to undertake legal aid work, leading to the most vulnerable clients unable to obtain the assistance they need.

The Guardian's statistical breakdown can be accessed by clicking here.

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